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Advice on what to do!

February 17th, 2011, 11:39 AM
:pawprint:So I have a Shih tzu that I am trying to find a home for. He has nipped at me and a few other people in the past when he was scared or hurt. He can be very intimadating. I had these people email about him. They were told by someone else who is also helping me find him a home. They have a child that there wanting to give him to so I told them about him I did not mention the nipping and when they emailed back they had the little girl email me. She is 8 years old. So I told them then (after I got them interested) about his nipping. They have not emailed me back since. I was told by someone that I shouldnt tell them that because he might not do that to them and that would turn them off to him. I do not feel like I should do that especailly since they have a child. So I told them. Any advice of how I should approach the situation next time since Im pretty sure this family has fallen through. He is not a violent dog, he doesnt lash out aggresively only when he is hurt or scared. (He hung his toe nail and bit someone and when he was groomed he bit the groomer and he bit me and my roomate when we first got him.) He has not done it in a while and when he did he never broke skin. I think he needs to go to a family without kids but the people that keep showing up and that are interested have kids. The vet said it was probably just his turn and he was a grouchy dog. He has had all his shots and is neutered. Thanks :pawprint:

February 17th, 2011, 12:14 PM
Personally, I think the only responsible thing to do is be upfront and transparent from the get go. This way, you won't risk a lawsuit nor will you be wasting your time with people who can't have a dog such as yours.

Are you working to help him overcome his issues?

February 17th, 2011, 12:33 PM
Thats what I thought too. This person told me not to tell them though so I waited. I think that it is better to tell them. Im not real sure what to do about it. When I first got him I was afraid when he would act that way and I just let him go. Now I know that he isnt going to do any damage if he does bite. So Im not really afraid of him, and when he does act that way it doesnt last long because I dont back away anymore and I look at him and tell him no. Besides that Im not really sure how to make him stop. He barks alot too and when he starts I will turn my back to him until he stops so he is starting to learn that he cant do that to get his way. However, I do not know what to do to get him to stop bitting, and acting out when he gets frightened or hurt. I just assumed that its just his nature to protect himself. And since he was dropped off he is just afraid of people, I am working with the trust and now he is playing and jumping around for the first time since I have had him. I have had him for 4 months now.

February 17th, 2011, 12:41 PM
"I have had him for 4 months now."

Sorry I meant 4 weeks!:o

February 17th, 2011, 12:46 PM
Well, as you've learned, when you hold back information, people will just change their minds when they learn about his issues. No point wasting your time and theirs. If you're honest from the start, you may come across some experienced people still willing to consider adopting him.

I think you need to make a list of all the different occasions he behaves negatively and then go from there to counter-condition him. Does the rescue you're planning on fostering for have a trainer behaviorist that can guide you? Here's a great video that demonstrates how to begin counter-conditioning.

February 17th, 2011, 12:54 PM
Thanks for the link, I found him and am just fostering him on my own he didnt come from an organization. Im not sure if the organization that I am going through later does though. I will have to ask her and find out. Again thanks!

February 19th, 2011, 12:34 PM
Honesty is the best policy :)
Be upfront about his past behaviour and issues and don't risk the safety of a child adopting him and finding out the hard way that he may nip or snap. There are many good trainers with advice to share.